What to Expect After a Cataract Surgery

Cataracts are the number one cause of loss of vision among people over 40 years of age. This happens when the cataract grows without any corrective action. Since they cannot be treated,cataracts are usually removed through surgery. The cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an implant known as intraocular lens. The procedure takes a short time and is often done on outpatient basis.

If the cataracts are in both eyes, the cataract specialist will recommend that you have the surgeries at least a month apart.  So, what should you expect after the surgery?


Cataract surgeries are rarely repeated. Cataracts do not come back after removal.  There may however be some adjustments just to improve the outcome but only when needed.

This includes cases where a fragment of the affected lens is hidden behind the iris such that the surgeon cannot access or see it. Later, the piece will dislodge and float to the front part of your eye. The surgeon will then vaporize it with a laser or vacuum it out.

The other likely complication could be that the piece fell back into a portion of the eye called the vitreous. This part of the eye falls under the expertise of retina surgeons to whom you will be referred to.

Without Complications

If there are no complications, you will rest after the surgery for the anaesthesia to wear off. You will be handed a pair of anti UV sunglasses to put on as you head home. You surgeon will advice on how soon your can remove the shield placed on your eye for protection. Remember to tape it back when sleeping or generally at night.

The eyes take some time to adapt to the new lens and vision may be slightly distorted or blurry especially the first time you remove the protective shield. Because of short term damage to your blood vessels during surgery, your eyes may be bloodshot. But this will dissipate as your eye heals.

Ensure you make it for your follow-up visit to the cataract surgeon.


Take measures to prevent an eye infection from developing the first week after the surgery since the eye is still healing. An Australian doctor will normally prescribe some antibiotic drops for your eyes as well as anti-inflammatory ones to lessen internal inflammation.

For Quick Recovery

Here are some tips to follow for faster and safer recovery:

  1. Walk with more caution to avoid bumping into objects and doors
  2. Engage only in light activities for a while
  3. Get someone to drive you around if you must move from place to place
  4. Resist the urge to rub your eye (a good habit to observe even after healing)
  5. Avoid irritants like dust and grime for a while

For more information, talk to a cataract surgeon.